COVID-19 | Construction Works Within Strata Schemes
With the introduction of the Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Construction Work Days) Order 2020 on 31 March 2020 (the Order), strata schemes may be faced with decisions to make regarding the continuation or commencement of building works during the Government imposed restrictions and social distancing guidelines.
Impact of construction works in strata schemes
In normal times, construction work within a strata scheme impacts owners as:
- common property remedial works can take place when required to allow an owners corporation to meet its repair and maintenance obligations impacting lot owners
- lot owners can undertake renovation works (with approval) in their individual lots affecting adjoining occupants
- building experts may need to carry out tests and inspect common property requiring access to individual lots
How does an owners corporation control construction works in normal times
An owners corporation can take steps to control works on site including:
- common property rights by-laws may be specially resolved setting down terms and conditions for building works performed affecting common property
- by-laws as to noise, security, access via common property, rubbish removal, etc
What can an owners corporation do during COVID-19
To avoid or minimise owner complaints, given the Order allows more than 2 people to ‘gather’ for the purposes of work, an owners corporation may:
- impose on-site guidelines requiring contractors/experts to:
- adhere to the social distancing rules
- promote good hand, sneeze and cough hygiene;
- provide alcohol-based band rub for all staff;
- regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that many people touch; and
- keep 1.5 metres away from others.
- pass a by-law to restrict the number of days and contractors allowed on site to minimise the risks and spread of COVID-19
- vary by-laws governing renovation works already in progress or to delay new works from being commenced during COVID-19 (as long as these conditions are reasonable in the circumstances)
We can assist in providing advice as to your strata scheme’s unique situation, draft appropriate by-laws and provide advice to owners corporations and/or lot owners who may have entered or are entering into a building contract for works to ensure that provision is made for potential delays caused as a result of Covid-19.
Contact the Strata team today on 02 9233 5544.